I have recently logged back into my account and wanted to take time to share a little about my journey and why I think The Element of Computing Systems is an excellent contribution to the engineering community.
Looking back, I first registered to this forum in 2010.
At the time, I was 20 years old and considering dropping out of college because I wasn't fulfilled by my studies in Music Performance. In my spare time I decided to start doing the projects out of TECS because of my interest in computers and technology. I had no previous exposure to electronics and only hobbyist exposure to programming.
I found the design and implementation challenges in TECS to be very interesting and it sparked a passion for engineering inside of me. The following year I enrolled in a Computer Science program at my university, but wanting to be further along in life, I left college to join the U.S. Navy Reserve and was trained as an electronics technician.
Once I completed my training in the reserves, I started working as an electromechanical repair tech in the private sector and went back to school for Electrical Engineering.
Fast forward to 2016 and I am nearing the completion of my Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering. I received a promotion within my company and have been working as a Project Engineer on small software and electronic solutions for the last 2 years.
This term I start my senior capstone project for my BSEE program and I have decided to revisit the concept that started my passion in engineering to begin with.
My project is to implement the hack platform in FPGA including the VGA and PS/2 drivers required to interface to a monitor and keyboard.
Books like TECS create opportunities for individuals like myself, who at the time was not enrolled in an engineering program, to have insight to the computer engineering field with minimal obstacles that may otherwise deter us.
Thank you for making a positive impact on my life and career choice. It has been an odd and interesting journey.
I just wanted to provide a brief update on my senior capstone project.
I just hit a major milestone and completed the FPGA implementation and integration of the CPU, ROM, and RAM. I was able to initialize the system with my mult.hack program from the Nand2Tetris project and successfully simulate its execution. My next step is to instantiate the subsystems into my development board and run the program at speed.
I'm now starting on the VGA Controller implementation and then the PS2 Controller.
I plan to release my comprehensive project report and open source the code when I'm done.